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Public perceptions of the separation of church and state
h [electronic resource] /
by Donald Foster.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 66, 19 pages.
Thesis (M.L.A.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: Much of the scholarly work in the area of the separation of church and state in America has centered on such lofty goals as examining the Constitution of the United States and voluminous court documents. Others meticulously scrutinize every word ever uttered by the founding fathers on the subject. During the last two decades, there has been a considerable increase in the debate concerning the separation of church and state. The religious right has become determined to infuse our governmental institutions with a decidedly more religious tone, while the religious left prefers the separation of church and state as it is. But how does the average American feel about the separation of church and state? This project will examine our religious heritage from Europe and the development of the separation of church and state in America.Finally this project conducted surveys of Americans to determine just how much they know about how the separation of church developed in America and perhaps more importantly what they believe it should be. Two separate surveys totaling 19 questions were developed. The questions probed historical facts, the founding fathers and questions regarding the separation of church and state today. The surveys were conducted in Manatee County, Florida during the spring of 2008 and again in late August and early September, 2008. The survey respondents were made up of 4 distinct groups. Those respondents surveyed in Spring 2008 were in-class college students in the University of South Florida at Sarasota/Manatee. Two other groups were made up of high school graduates and college graduates who work for the Manatee and Sarasota District schools. The final group was surveyed during a multi family picnic on Labor Day weekend.The results of the surveys were tabulated and the respondents were placed in groups according to 2 questions on the back of the surveys that asked the respondents to give their political party affiliation and their religious denomination.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Advisor: Robert Snyder, Ph.D.
Bill of Rights
Wall of separation
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Public Perceptions of the S eparation of Church and State By Donald Foster A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement s for the degree of Master of Liberal Arts Department of Humaniti es and American Studies College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Robert Snyder, Ph.D. Mozella Mitchell, Ph.D. Margaret Sciscento, Ph.D. Date of Approval: October, 31, 2008 Keywords: Constitution, Bill of Rights, Establishment, Wall of Separation, Jefferson @Copyright 2008, Donald Foster
Table of Contents Abstract ii Introduction 1 The Protestant Reformation in Europe 5 Wycliff and Huss 5 Martin Luther 8 Ulrich Zwingli 13 John Calvin 17 John Knox 21 The English Reformation 27 The Development of t he Separation of Church and Stat e in America 33 Roger Williams 34 William Penn 36 George Washington 42 John Adams 45 Thomas Jefferson 48 The Separation of Church and State in America: 2008 50 References 62 Bibliography 64 Appendix 1 Appendix A: Visual Charts 2 i
Public Perceptions of the Separati on of Church and State in America Donald A. Foster ABST RACT Much of the scholarly work in t he area of the separ ation of church and state in America has centered on su ch lofty goals as examining the Constitution of the United States and voluminous court documents. Others meticulously scrutinize every word ever uttered by the founding fathers on the subject. During the last two decades, ther e has been a considerable increase in the debate concerning the separation of church and state. The religious right has become determined to infuse our governmental institutions with a decidedly more religious tone, while the religious left pr efers the separation of church and state as it is. But how does the average Amer ican feel about the separation of church and state? This project will examine our relig ious heritage from Europe and the development of the separation of church and state in America. Finally this project conducted surveys of Americans to determi ne just how much they know about how the separation of church dev eloped in America and perhaps more importantly what they believe it s hould be. Two separate surveys totaling 19 ii
iii questions were developed. The questions pr obed historical facts, the founding fathers and questions regarding the separat ion of church and state today. The surveys were conducted in Manatee C ounty, Florida during the spring of 2008 and again in late August and early Sept ember, 2008. The survey respondents were made up of 4 distinct groups. Those respondents surveyed in Spring 2008 were in-class college students in the University of South Florida at Sarasota/Manatee. Two other groups were made up of high school graduates and college graduates who work for the Manatee and Sarasota District schools. The final group was surveyed during a multi family picnic on Labor Day weekend. The results of the surveys were tabulated and the respondents were placed in groups according to 2 questions on the back of the surveys that asked the respondents to give their politic al party affiliation and their religious denomination.
1 Introduction Over the last three decades of th e twentieth century there has been a considerable increase in interest in t he American concept of the separation of church and state. The number of l earned scholars who have penned works devoted to the separation of church and state is truly extensive. There are innumerable works that examine every word the founding fathers ever uttered. There are also scholarly dissertations ex amining every indivi dual member of the Supreme Courts interpretation of the U. S. Constitution on the subject. There are also many scholarly works focusing on the recent controversial faith-based initiatives. The separation of church and stat e had been little challenged for over a hundred years, but now many religious conservatives question this concept because they feel it in effect institut ionalizes America as a secular nation unintended by the f ounders of the Republic. The adversaries in the culture wars dedicate their battles to the soul of Americ a. It is a war they proclaim that they cannot afford to lose. Meanwhile, as the bombs of the cultur e wars explode all around them, most of the populace manages to muddle on seemingly oblivious to the smoke from the sm oldering ashes of one battle after another. The vast body of work in this area has almost exclusively been intended to convince the reader of the merits of one side of the argument or the other in order to sway not necessarily public opin ion but the weight of scholarly opinion.
2 In addition, much work has been done to lay the foundation for court involvement, intended to proscribe by legal means what the public extent of the separation of church and state ought to be. The concept of the separation of church and state in the United States developed over many centuries, begi nning in Europe. It is not a snapshot of a moment in time, but more like a river pebble polished to shiny smooth over time. Legal scholars note that monumental achievements in the history of the western civilization, including the Magna Carta, The Declaration of Independence, and The Constitution are not dead, dusty, old documents, but rather are alive and gro wing and serving us now. They are then available for interpretation as to how best to serve us in this day and age. If, as the adversaries in this battle maintain, the battle is dedicated to the soul of America, just what does the average American thin k about the separation of church and state in Am erica? What do they know about it? Perhaps more importantly, what would they change if they could or should it be maintained as it is? Two separate surveys totaling 19 questions were developed. The surveys are named Adams and Washington respecti vely after the subj ect matter of the first statement on the survey and are refe rred to that way in the data results section. The questions probed historical facts, the founding fathers and questions regarding the separation of church and state today. Most of the statements on the two separate surveys have a definite ans wer. A few of the statements were designed to be argumentative in that sc holars are still trying to determine the
3 correct answer. Many questions were designed to determine what the general public knows about the specific arguments t hat scholars use in their discussions. The surveys were conducted in Manatee County, Florida during the spring of 2008 and again in late August and ear ly September, 2008. The survey respondents were made up of 4 distinct groups. Those respondents surveyed in Spring 2008 were in-class college students in the University of South Florida at Sarasota/Manatee. Two other groups were made up of high school graduates and college graduates who work for the Manatee and Sarasota District schools. The final group was surveyed during a mult i family picnic on Labor Day weekend. The results of the surveys were tabul ated and the respondents were placed in groups according to 2 questions on the back of the surveys that asked the respondents to give their political party affiliation and their religious denomination. Very quickly in the survey process it became apparent that the public had little legal, spiritual or constitutional knowledge of the separ ation of church and state or many of the hist orical developments that ef fected the development that we have today. Many people had to guess. The responses were calculated in three groups, Republican/Conservatives, Democrat/Liberal and Independents. Much more important though than whether the public co uld answer the question correctly was how the respondents answere d when compared to their religious and political affiliations. The Christian right attacks what it believes is a secular United States claiming that this condition is leading to moral decay and our decline as a leader
4 of nations. In fact, it is our secular governmental struct ure that is responsible for our nation being consistently named as one of the most religious nations in the world. Our religious guar antees allow not just one religion to thrive but all religions to thrive. In a ddition, the results of the accompanying surveys suggest that average Americans, on bot h sides of the church and state argument, prefer our system of the separation of church and state as it is.
5 The Protestant Reformation in Europe Wycliff and Huss During the High Middle Ages the popes had made increasingly unreasonable demands of the emperors and rulers of Eu rope. The papal schism that developed after the end of the exiles of the popes in Avignon (1378-1415) was finally resolved by the Council of Constance. This council was needed because the papacy could not have heal ed the greatest and most damaging scandal in church history by itself. A fter the Council of C onstance the papacys power was diminished from within the chur ch by the conciliar movement. Both the Council of Constance and the Council of Basel (1431-1439) declared that a general council was superior to the pope. The pope and his successors, however, did not accept these decrees and did all they possibly could to subordinate the councils to the pope (Lohse 9). There were many problems and abuses in the church during the period of 1300-1500, particularly in the area of papal finances. The popes always needed more and more money to financ e the wars that the papal st ate embroiled itself in. They also needed ever-increasing amount s to maintain their wastefully expensive lifestyles. The princes of the church increasingly used indulgences to increase their incomes. The church used ecclesiastical penalties to enforce the payment of the assessments and taxes that it levied. Ecclesiastical offices were even sold to generate income (Lohse 9).
6 Even worse than the exploitive financia l practices was the fact that the clergy did not take their priestly duties very seriously. Many bishops thought of themselves as worldly rulers rather t han as priests. Celibacy was frequently not practiced. The church was in need of thorough reform. but the clergy needed to carry it out was lacking (Lohse 9) As early as 1328, two religious refo rmers appeared to be willing to take on the papacy in the name of reform. John Wycliff (c. 1328-84) an English theologian, greatly influenced John Hu ss (c. 1369-1415) from Bohemia. The movement, started by Huss, wa s of particular importance to the church of the late Middle Ages. His group was the first large group to gain and maintain independence from Rome, that is, to have a confession of faith other than that of the Roman Church (Lohse 9). Wycliff, perhaps, because he was not as close in geographic proximity to Rome as Huss, was significantly less c autious. Huss was never as sharp in his criticisms of certain practices and teachi ngs of the church as Wycliff. Both of these early reformers, however, shared a si milar regard for the Holy Scripture as the law of God which the church was to follow and as the standard by which the actions of the church were to be judged. They compared the medieval church (worldly, rich and mighty) to the early c hurch, which lived in worldly poverty and found the medieval chur ch wanting (Lohse 11). The hierarchy of the church react ed to Huss as sharply as possible, excommunicating him. However, the king of Bohemia, and a la rge part of the nobility as well as the peopl e, supported Huss. Because of this he was able to
7 continue his work for some time afte r he was excommunicated. Huss was called to the Council of Constance to explai n himself. He was given an official guarantee by the emperor that after t he Council he could return safely to Bohemia. At the Council, however, he refused to renounce his teachings and was burned at the stake as a heretic. His death became a scandal in Bohemia. Both the emperor and the pope were cons idered his murderers (Lohse 11). After the death of Huss, the Hussites divided into two groups. The first (the Utraquists) basically demanded only t he distribution of wine to the laity during communion. The other group was the much more radical Taborites. In 1420, the pope declared a crusade against the Hussites in Bohemia and the wars against the Hussites began. The Hu ssites defended themselves fanatically. The Hussites even invaded the German Empire, reaching as far as Brandenburg and Austria. After the Utr aquists gained control of t he Hussite movement, the Council of Basel agreed to terms with them in the Compactata (the Treaty of Prague, 1453) (Lohse 12). At every diet of the German Empire the Gravamina nationis Germanicae, the list of abuses that the diet was asked to correct in the church in the German Empire, was always presented. Although this term was not officially used as an official statement until 1456, such a list of abuses was presented at the Council of Constance in 1417, and was still being presented into the early years of the Reformation. The papacy began to be seen as the real enemy, robbing the German nation of its wealth, its freedom, and its dignity (Lohse 10). In the sixteenth century the Germ an Empire still remembered t he horrors of the Hussite
8 Wars. In some areas, secret groups still practiced the Hussite teachings. While other, older heresies had almost disapp eared by 1500, the influence of the Hussites remained strong. People were still impressed by the Hussite criticism of the many abuses in the church. Church leaders flagrantly violated the churchs celibacy requirements and many appeared to be more interested in obtaining wealth than serving the church.W hether Huss had been unjustly condemned was still frequently discussed. Most importantly the Hussites provided the West with an example of successful resistance (Lohse 12). Martin Luther Perhaps the most important figure to t he modern Christian c hurch was Luther. Luther became an Augustinian monk in 150 5. This disappointed his father who wanted him to be a lawyer. He earned a docto rate in theology from the University of Wittenberg. Instead of settling down to a placid life of a scholarly monk or an uneventful career as a university le cturer, Luther began to develop his own personal theology, which quickl y brought him conflict with the church (Hooker 1). The first great controversy that was focu sed on Luther was that of indulgences. In two sermons, one of which was deliv ered on October 31, 1516, Luther warned of the dangers of indulgences. He did not re ject them in principle, but rather examined the apparent conflic t between true contrition and the desire to receive an indulgence (Lohse 42). The practice of indulgences needs to be understood in the context of the sacrament of penance. Penance begins with the sinner experien cing contrition. The sinner then confesses his or her sin to the priest and receives absolution
9 from the priest. Finally t he priest requires the penitent to perform some kind of satisfaction. This satisfaction is required of penitents as a way by which they can experience the punishment of their sins that has not been removed by absolution. This understanding of satisfaction was based upon the presupposition that a sinful act not only resu lts in guilt but also incurs a temporal punishment that must be endur ed either here on earth or in purgatory (Lohse 42). When the practice of indulgences fi rst began in the eleventh century they were originally understood as affecti ng only the temporal punishments imposed by the church itself. Then indulgence s released penitents from the temporal punishments of purgatory. Lat er, an indulgence releas ed the recipient from punishment and all guilt. Finally, indulgences were granted on behalf of members of the recipients family who had alr eady died, releasing them from the punishments of purgatory. Theologians disagreed amongst themselves about this practice and at the time of Luther there was no official teaching on the subject, leaving the door wide open for excess and abuse (Aland 59). In the late Middle Ages the use of indulgences greatly increased when, in 1517, Pope Leo X offered indulgences for th ose who gave alms to rebuild St. Peters Basilica in Rome. This promoted the creation of professional pardoners who sold indulgences without restrict ion. One of thes e pardoners, Johann Wetzel, particularly provoked Luther to write (in 1517) his 95 theses against the practices of the church. In thesis 28 Lut her objected to a saying attributed to Wetzel: As soon as a coin in the coffer rings a soul from purgatory springs. Luther condemned what he saw as the purchase and sale of salvation. The 95
10 theses not only denounced practices such as this as worldly, but denied the popes authority to grant pardons on Gods behalf. Luther said that the only thing that indulgences guaranteed was an increas e in power and greed (Bainton 60). The news of Luthers 95 theses spread across Europe with amazing speed. This rapid spread and the wides pread discussion about them was only possible because the art of printing had already been developed a few decades. Printing provided the unique opportunity fo r the very large response to Luthers criticism. The powerful e ffect that Luthers work had on public opinion made it impossible for Luther to be done away with as simply and as quickly as Huss had been (Lohse 45). Scholasticism was both a method and system of philosophy dominant in the Middle Ages. It aimed to reconcile the Christian theology of the church fathers with Greek philosophers such as Aristotle. Scholastisicm had passed its peak shortly before the Reformation bega n, but Humanism, which came to Germany from Italy, achieved its highest development in the sixteenth century. Of course, there were differences between Humanism of the variety taught in Italy and that taught in Germany. The secu larism that so o ften resulted from Humanism in Italy appeared far less frequent ly in Germany. On the contrary, German Humanism was quite religious. So me princes, including Maximilian l, encouraged the Humanists. Since the emperor gave his personal support to the humanists, Germany became more of a center of Humanism than almost anywhere else in Europe. At the same time, the nationalistic element was
11 becoming stronger in German Humanism. People hoped to develop German law, German grammar, and even, perhaps, a German form of the church. When Luthers difficulties with the church began, the Northern Hu manists supported Luther (Lohse 15). In 1518, Luther was hauled into court to defend his arguments against Cardinal Cajetan. When the argument began to focus on the spiritual value of good works, that is, the actions that people do in this world to benefit others and to pay off the debts theyve incurred agai nst God by sinning, Cajetan lost his temper and demanded that Luther recant. Luther ran and his steady irreparable, separation from the church began. Luthers next writi ng was the The Sermon on Good Works, in which he argues that good works do not benefit the soul, only faith could do that. In response Pope Leo declared 41 articles of Luthers teachings as heretical teachings, and Luthers books were burned in Rome. In response, Luther became even more passi onate in his efforts to reform the church (Hooker 2). In 1521, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, demanded that Luther appear before the diet of the Holy Roman Empire at Worms. Luther was asked to explain his views and Charle s ordered him to recant. Luthers famous response was, Here I Stand, I c annot do otherwise. While th e leaders at Worms were deliberating, Luther made his escape and was hidden away in a castle at Wartburg. Luthers works ar e truly voluminous, but t he foundations of all his
12 works are in two principles. They are jus tification by faith and the priesthood of all believers (Hooker 2). In Christian theology, justification is Gods act of declaring or making a sinner righteous before God. Luther seiz ed upon the by your faith alone are you justified references in Romans. His pri esthood of all believers is his belief that all Christians have a duty to read and study the Bible and determine what it means for themselves. They are to devel op their own personal relationship with God. It was during his stay at Wartburg that he transla ted the Bible into German, so that every German Christian c ould do just that (Lohse 42). In a conciliatory effor t, Luther wrote to Pope Leo explaining the substance of his ideas. In his On the Freedom of the Christian, Luther introduces his concept of Freiheit, meaning freedom or liberty. This is not the same as our interpretation of freedom but in time it gives rise to the idea of individual freedom, and later political freedom, and later still economic freedom. Most of the European Enlightenment revolves around freedom and the project of liberating; liberating peopl e from false beliefs, fa lse religion and arbitrary authority. This concept of liberati ng people, which is so common to the international politics of today, came out of Luthers idea of freedom (Hooker 2). Eventually Protestantism gained such a solid footing in the Holy Roman Empire that the Emperor could not prot ect Catholics in the Protestant areas. Lutherans had gained their freedom in 1555 with the Peace of Augsburg. This treaty was somewhat successful in relieving tension in the Holy Roman Empire. It established the policy of cuius region, eius religio meaning in the princes land,
13 the princes religion. The regions rule r determined the religion of the land. The treaty established a grace period, duri ng which families could move to another region that practiced their religion (eit her Roman Catholicism or Lutheranism). But for other groups such as Anabaptists and Calvinists there were no protections at all. Member s of these groups were open to the charge of heresy. Article 17 of the treaty st ated: However, all such as do not belong to the two above named religions shall not be includ ed in the present peace but be totally excluded from it. It was not until 1648, with the Treaty of Westphalia that Christians living in an area where the es tablished religion was not their own were allowed to practice their own religion (Lohse 177). Ullrich Zwingli While Germany struggled under the political and religious consequences of Luthers reform movement, the move ment itself quickly crossed the German borders into neighboring Switze rland. At this time Switzerland was not so much a country but a confederacy of city states called cantons. When Luthers ideas began to flow over the border, several of the cantons broke from the Catholic Church and became Protes tant while others remai ned firmly Catholic. Of the cantons that adopted Luthers new movement, the most impor tant and powerful of these was the city-state of Zurich, under the leadership of Ulrich Zwingli (14841531) (Gabler 1-4). Zwingli brought to Luthers revolu tion an education rich in Northern Humanism. Many of the Reformers, alt hough Martin Luther was not one of them, were decisively influenced by Humanism. The Humanists renewal of a cultural
14 ideal influenced more and more universit ies and schools. The poor education of priests was a familiar target of ridicule and satires were written on the morality of the higher clergy (Lohse 15). Zwingli was enormously popular in Zurich because of his opposition to Swiss mercenary serv ice in foreign wars and for his attacks on indulgences. Zwingli was as critical of indulgences as was Luther himself (Potter 15). Zwingli had risen through the ranks of the Catholic Chur ch until, in 1519, he was appointed Peoples Priest. Th is position was the most powerful ecclesiastical position in the city. However, by the later portion of that same year Zwingli had grown to fully appreciate Lut hers program of reform and began to shift the city over to the practices of the new Protestant c hurch. In 1523, Zurich officially adopted Zwinglis central reform s, and became the first Protestant state outside of Germany. From here the Protestant revolution would sweep across Switzerland (Potter 15). Zwinglis theology and morality was based on a simple, single principle. If the Old or New Testament di d not say something explicitly and literally, then, no Christian should believe or practice it. This was the basis of his critique of indulgences. In 1522, for instance, Zwi ngli mounted a protest against fasting at Lent, a standard Catholic practice. His argument was that the New Testament says absolutely nothing about fasting so the practice is unchristian (Locher 81). Two important shifts in Western Chri stian experience result from Zwinglis position. The first is the literal reading of the Old and New Testaments. No longer would texts be dark and mysterious, full of difficult and allegorical meanings.
15 Instead, the words meant what they said. Any difficulty, contradiction or obscure meaning was the fault of t he reader and not the text. This literal meaning of Christian scriptures meant that it was possible to have one, and only one, meaning of the text. From this profound shi ft in the reading of Christian scripture developed one of the most st rict and severe applications of these writings to social life. Not only were practices not c ontained in Scriptures to be shunned, but practices, beliefs, and rules that were cont ained in the literal meaning of the Old and New Testaments were to be adhered to absolutely and uncritically. This became the underpinning of the social theories and organization of radical Protestant and Puritan societies, and late r the foundational social organization of the English colonies in America (Gabler 49-52). As Zwingli started building his strict Protestant societ y, he soon parted company with Martin Luther. Luther was always a Catholic at heart. His mission had always been to reform the Catholic C hurch, not start a new church. Luther was not willing to give up many Catholic ceremonies, and he certainly was not willing to accept Zwinglis doctrine of reading Christian scriptures with unwavering literalness. The most important doctrinal issue that they disagreed on, was the nature of the Eu charist. Luther, like the Catholics, believed that the bread and the wine of the Eucharist was spiritually transformed into the body and blood of Christ. Zwingli believed that t he Eucharist only symbolized the body and blood of Christ (Bainton 62). At the heart of this dispute was the very nature of Christ himself. For Luther, what made the spiritual transformati on of the Eucharist into the physical
16 body and blood of Christ was the dual nat ure of Christ. As both God and human, Christ was both spiritual and physi cal, God and human being. Zwinglis Protestantism, as well as his spiritual inheritors (the majori ty of Protestant churches), overwhelmingly stressed the divine nature of Christ. For Zwingli, Jesus Christ was the divine. The Catholic insistence on the human nature of Christ was an incorrect and dangerous r eading and must be rejected (Bainton 62). Normally when theologians disagr ee they just agree to disagree. Denominational differences today only ra rely cause serious concern. This disagreement between Zwingli a nd Luther was viewed as a political crisis of the utmost importance. The leaders of bot h the Swiss and the Germans understood the importance of a political allian ce between the two countries. This disagreement threatened such an alliance. These Protestant states were, after all, trying to survive beneath the threat of Catholic Europe. These leaders understood their precarious positions since they were both surrounded on all sides by hostile countries (Bainton 62). In order for these two Protestant states to al ly themselves, the two churches had to agree on basic theology, par ticularly the nature of Christ. In October 1529, Philip of Hesse invited bot h Luther and Zwingli to his castle in Marburg to try to come to some agreem ent. By this time the two had little in common and the discussions ended in complete failure. Luther thought Zwingli to be mad, a religious fanatic who ha d lost touch with common sense and spirituality. Zwingli th ought Luther to be hopelessly enmeshed in unsupportable
17 Catholic doctrine. After this meeting unification of the various Protestant movements became impossible. In just a few decades, the new church that Luther believed would become another, more pure universal church, fragmented into a thousand separate, quarreling pieces (Hooker 2). John Calvin The spirit of Zwinglis thought r eached it fullest development in the theology, political theories and ecclesia stic thought of John Calvin (1509-1564). Calvin, perhaps even more so than Luther created the patterns and thought that would dominate Western culture throughout the m odern period. American culture, in particular, has been thoroughl y influenced by Calvinism. Calvin was originally a lawyer, but like Zwingli, he was saturated with the ideas of Northern Renaissance Humanism. Calvin was dedi cated to reforming the church, and he got his chance when the citizens of Genev a revolted against their rulers (Barth 32). Unlike the citizens of Zurich, Bern Basel, and other cities that became Protestant in the 1520s, the citizens of Geneva were not German speakers but primarily French speakers. Because of this they did not have close cultural ties with the reformed churches in Germany and Switzerland. The Protestant canton of Bern, however, was determined to s ee Geneva become Protestant and to see Protestantism spread throughout Switzerland In 1533, Bern s ent reformers to convert Geneva into a Protestant city After considerable conflict, Geneva officially became Protestant in 1535. Calvin, who by then was a successful lawyer, was invited to Geneva to build the new Reformed church (Hooker 2).
18 Calvins efforts at reforming the c hurch radically chan ged Protestantism because he directly addressed issues that other early reformers didnt know how to or didnt want to answer. Calvins most important work involved the organization of church governance and the social organization of the church and the city. He was the first political thinke r to model social or ganization entirely on biblical principles. At first his reform s did not go over well. He addressed the issue of church governance by creating le aders within the new church. He also developed a catechism to impose on all the members of the church. He imposed a strict moral code on the citizens of Geneva. This moral code was derived from a literal reading of Christian scriptures. The people of Geneva started to believe that they had thrown away one church only to see it replaced by an identical twin (Hooker 2). In early 1538, the Genevans tossed him out and Calvin moved to Strasbourg where he began work on his almost endless commentaries, The Institutes of the Christian Church. The purpose of commentaries in Western literary tradition is to ex plain both the literary techni que and the difficult passages in literary and historical works. Ca lvin, like most theologians, wrote his commentaries to argue for his own theology. His commentaries are less an explanation of the Bible t han a piece-by-piece construction of his theological, social, and political philosophy (Hooker 2). In 1540 a new group of city officials in Geneva invited John Calvin back into the city. As soon as he arrived he set about revolutionizing Genevan society. His most important innovation was the in corporation of the church into city
19 government. He immediately helped to rest ructure municipal government so that clergy would be involved in city decisio ns, most particularly the populace. He imposed a hierarchy on the Genevan chur ch and began a series of statute reforms to impose a strict and uncompromising moral code on the city (Hooker 2). Geneva became the most important Protestant c enter in Europe in the sixteenth-century, and a hav en for Protestants who had been driven out of their home countries. By the mi ddle of the sixteenth cent ury, between one-third and one-half of the city was made up of foreign Protestants. In Geneva, these foreign born reformers adopted the more radical Ca lvinist doctrines. Most of them had arrived as moderate reformers and had left as thorough going Calvinists. Perhaps it is because of this that Calvin s brand of reform eventually became the dominant branch of Protestantism fr om the seventeenth century onwards (Hooker 2). The core of Calvinism is the Zwingli an insistence on the literal reading of Christian scriptures. Anything not contained in these scriptures was to be rejected. Anything that was contained exp licitly and literally in these scriptures was to be followed unwaveringly. It is this latter point that Calvin developed beyond Zwinglis model. Calvins view was that not only should a ll religious belief be founded on the literal readi ng of Scripture, but chur ch organization, political organization, and society itself should be founded on this literal reading (Hooker 2).
20 The most important theol ogical position that Calvin took was that of predestination. The early church had str uggled with this issue. Since God knew the future, did that not mean that salvation was predestined? The early church, and the moderate Protestant churc hes, had decided that God had not predestined salvation for indi viduals. Salvation was in part the product of human choice. Calvin, on the other hand, built hi s reformed church on the concept that salvation was not a choice, but pre-dec ided by God from the beginning of time. This meant that individuals were elected for salvation by God. Those elected would form the population of the Calvinist church (Hooker 2). This view of human salvation is calle d the doctrine of the elect, or the doctrine of living saints, or the doctrine of visible saints . In Catholic theology a saint is a human being that the church is certain has gained salvation. In Calvinist theology, a saint or living saint, or visible saint, is a living, breathing human being who is guaranteed to gain salv ation no matter what he or she does here on earth, although the elect obviously dont engage in flagrant sin. Not all good people were among the elect, but peopl e with bad behavior were certainly not among the elect. It was incumbent on chur ches filled with living saints to only admit other living saints. This princi ple was called voluntary association. Voluntary associations are predicat ed on the idea that a community or association chooses its own members and those members, of their own free will, choose to be a member of that community or association. In time, the concept of
21 voluntary associations would become the bas is of civil society and later political society in Europe (Hooker 2). John Knox John Knox (c, 1510-1572) was a Scotti sh clergyman, and leader of the Protestant Reformation, who is cons idered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination. Knox was influenced by G eorge Wishart. Wishart was a reformer who fled Scotland to escape punishment fo r heresy. He fled to England and later to Germany and Switzerland. Wishart retur ned to Scotland in 1544. The timing of his return was unfortunate. In Decem ber 1543, the Parlia ment of Scotland passed an act for the summary dealing of heretics. Wishart traveled Scotland preaching in favor of the Reformation. W hen he arrived in East Lothian, Knox became his bodyguard and one of his closest associates. Wishart was arrested on the orders of Cardinal Beaton. Knox was prepared to follow Wishart into captivity but Wishart persuaded him against this course. Wishart was subsequently prosecuted, and was burned at the stake in the presence of Cardinal Beaton (Percy 49-50) When Wishart was taken prisoner, Knox became a fugitive. In May of 1546 while Knox remained a fugitive, Cardinal Beaton was murdered in his castle by a gang of five men in revenge for Wis harts execution. The assassins seized the castle and eventually their families and friends took refuge with them, about one hundred and fifty men in all. Kn ox, who had been tutoring students whose father was sympathetic to the Reformation, received word to bring them to the castle. The murder of Cardinal Beaton had provoked the regent, James
22 Hamilton, to request French assistance to bring the castle under his control. In June, 1547, twenty-one French galleys besieged the castle and forced their surrender. The Protestant nobles and others, including Knox, were taken prisoner and forced to row in the Frenc h galleys. In February, 1549, after spending a total of nineteen months in the ga lley-prison, Knox was released. It is not known how he obtained his release (Percy 49-50). On his release from the French ga lley-prison, Knox took refuge in England. The Reformation in England was a less radical movement than its counterparts on the European continent, t hough there was a definite breach with Rome. The Archbishop of Canterbury, T homas Cranmer, and the regent of King Edward Vl, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, were decidedly Protestant minded. However, much work needed to be done to bring reformed ideas to the clergy and to the people. On April 7, 1549, Knox was licensed to work in the Church of England. He was obliged to use the recently released Book of Common Prayer which was mainly a translation of the Latin Mass into English and was largely left intact and unreformed. He therefore modified its use along Protestant lines. In the pulpit he was very effective preaching Protestant doctrines and his congregation grew (MacGregor 50-54). Knox was asked to come to London to preach before the Court. In his first sermon, he advocated a change fo r the second edition of the Book of Common Prayer The liturgy required worshippers to kneel during communion. Knox and the other chaplains considered this to be idolatry. It triggered a debate where Thomas Cranmer was called upon to def end the practice. The end result was a
23 compromise. The compromise declared that no adoration wa s intended while kneeling, and it was included in the second edition (Percy 120-126). Knox was invited back to preach in London many more times. He gave his last sermon before King Edward Vl on Apr il 12, 1553. In July of 1553, the young king died. Edwards successor, Mary T udor, reestablished Roman Catholicism in England and restored Mass in all the churches. Protes tants such as Cranmer, were imprisoned in the Tower of London. With the country no longer safe for Protestant preachers, Knox left for the continent in January 1554 (Brown 144). Knox headed to Geneva where John Calv in had established his authority. When Knox arrived Calvin was in a difficu lt position. He had recently authorized the execution of the schol ar Michael Servetus for heresy, a ruling which had discredited Calvin among his peers and all of the cities in Switzerland were against him. Knox asked Calvin four diffi cult political questions. They were: whether a minor could rule by divine right, whether a female could rule and transfer sovereignty to her husband, whether people should obey ungodly or idolatrous rulers and what party godly per sons should follow if they resisted an idolatrous ruler. Calvin gave cautious replies and referred him to the Swiss reformer Heinrich Bullinger in Zuri ch. Bullingers responses were equally cautious, but Knox had already made up his mind. On July 20, 1554, Knox published a pamphlet, The Professors of Gods Truth in England, attacking Mary Tudor and the bishops who had brought her to power (Percy 148-157). In the summer of 1558, Knox pu blished his best known pamphlet, The First Blast of The Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. In calling
24 the regiment or rule of women monstr ous, he meant that it was unnatural. Knox states that his purpose was to demonstrate how abomi nable before God is the Empire or Rule of a wicked woman, yea, of a traiteresse and bastard. The women rulers he had in mind were Mary Tudor, Queen of England and Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland. The impact of the document was complicated later that year when Elizabeth Tudor became queen of England. Although Knox had not targeted Elizabeth, he deeply offended her and she never forgave him. With a Protestant on the throne, the English refugees in Geneva prepared to return home. Knox left Geneva for Scotland in January 1559, but he did not arrive in Scotland until May 1559 because Elizabet h refused to issue him a passport through England (MacGregor 175-179). Just two days after Knox arrived in Edinburgh, he proceeded to Dundee where a large number of Protestant sympathizers had gathered. Knox was declared an outlaw and Mary of Guis e, the queen regent for the young Mary Stuart, summoned the Protestant s to Sterling. Fearing the possibility of summary trial and execution, the Pr otestants proceeded to Perth, a fortress-like town with high walls that made it much easier to def end in case of a siege. Knox preached a sermon that precipitated a riot and the church wa s gutted. Mary gathered nobles loyal to her and a small French army. She dispatched Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll, and James Stewart, to offer terms and avert a war. Mary promised not to send any French troops into Perth if the Protestants evacuated the town. The Protestants agreed, but when the queen regent entered Perth, she garrisoned it with Scottish tr oops on the French payroll. This was seen
25 as treacherous by Campbell and Stewart, who switched sides and joined Knox, who now was based in St. Andrews (MacGregor 185-189). When Knox next preached in St. Andrews the effect was the same as in Perth. While the people engaged in vandalism and looting, Mary received word that Protestant reinforcements were arriving from neighboring counties and she retreated to Dunbar. By now the mob fury had spilled over to central Scotland. Marys own troops were on the verge of mutiny. In October 1559, The Scottish nobility deposed Mary of Guise from the re gency. Her minister William Maitland of Lethington, defected to the Protes tant side, bringing his considerable administrative skills. From then on, Maitland took over the political tasks, freeing Knox for the role of reli gious leader. For the final stage of Knoxs Scottish Revolution, Maitland appealed to Scottish pat riotism to fight French domination. A significant English army joined the Scottish Protestant forces. The sudden death of Mary of Guise in June 1560 paved the way for an end to hostilities. In July 1560, the Treaty of Edinburgh wa s signed and both the English and French troops withdrew (MacGregor 185-189). On August 1, 1560, the Scottish Pa rliament met to discuss religious issues. Knox and five other minister s were called upon to draw up a new confession of faith. Within four days, the Scots Confession was presented to Parliament and approved. A week later, t he Parliament passed three acts in one day. The first abolished the jurisdiction of the pope in Scotland. The second condemned all doctrine and practice contra ry to the reformed faith. The third forbade the celebration of Mass in Scotland. Before Parliament recessed, Knox
26 and the other ministers were given t he task of organizing the newly reformed Scottish church. They worked for seven months creating the Book of Discipline the document describing the organization of the new church. Parliament met in 1561 to consider the Book of Discipline but delayed their decision because of the impending return of Mary Stuart, the Queen of Scotland (MacGregor 185-189). Knox had many disagreements with the new queen. Most of these involved confrontations over the Catholic Marys priests conducting Mass illegally in Scotland. By this time Marys Catholicism was in the distinct minority in Scotland. She once asked Knox to us e his influence to promote religious toleration. He flatly refused. For Knox it wasnt just a religious matter he considered it a patriotic matter as well. Any other religion other than the Scottish Reformed religion was a foreign one, and not in the interests of Scotland. Mary had other serious difficulties as well. She ran into problems with Scottish nobles who eventually forced her to abdicate. K nox preached at the coronation of the young King James Vl. During this peri od Knox thundered against Mary in his sermons, even to the point of calling fo r her death. The king was not pleased with Knox over this but at the time could not move against him. He would, however, never forget the incident. Mary escaped to England where she was imprisoned by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, the Queen of England and eventually executed (Percy 331-333). Knox has been compared to other great reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin. He is considered an impor tant figure in Europe, because of the five years he spent in England making the Book of Common Prayer a much more
27 Protestant work. His work in Geneva st rongly influenced the Puritan movement. His greatest historical significance is t hat of his contribution to the Scottish Reformation. The Scottish Revolution of 1560 marked the change from princely authority to individualism (Brown 293-294). The English Reformation The Reformation in Germany primar ily concerned church reform. The Reformation in Switzerland split Christendom into a 1000 pieces. The Reformation in England was largely about establishing an English church. Henry Vlll wanted a divorce and assigned Cardinal Wolsey the task of obtaining it. His wife, Catherine of Aragon was a member of Spains royal family with close ties to the pope. Wolsey was unable to obtain the divorce so Henry had him arrested. Henry replaced him with Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell. Both of these men were sympathetic to the ideas of Ma rtin Luther. They advised Henry to have himself named head of the church in Engl and and then grant his own divorce. By 1534 Henry was in complete control of all clergy appointm ents. The English Parliament had also stopped all contributio ns to the Roman church by English clergy and lay people (Dickens 119). Despite this storm of activity, the E nglish church never really changed. In 1539, Henry reaffirmed his commitment to Catholic practice by passing into law the Six Articles. These articles affirmed the tr ansubstantiation of the Eucharist (that is, the Eucharist was mystically transformed into the body and blood of Christ), confession, private masses, celibate vows, and the sanctity of the Eucharistic cup. The only substantive change Henry ever made was the head of
28 the church. The English church would radically change under Henrys successor, Edward Vl (Ellis 788). Edward Vl (ruled 1547-1553) was only a teenager when he became king, but he thoroughly sympathized with the Prot estant cause. Edward and Thomas Cranmer set about making the Church of England into a thoroughly Protestant church. Edward repealed the Six Articles, allowed clergy to marry, and imposed Thomas Cranmers Book of Common Prayer on all church services. He also ordered any and all images and altars to be removed from churches. Had Edward lived, England would have bec ome a Calvinist country (Dickens 193). Edward died only six years into his reign and was succeeded by his half sister Mary Tudor, who was Henrys first child by Catherine of Aragon. Mary had been raised in France and was devoutly Catholic. When she assumed the throne of England she declared England to be a Catholic country. She assertively set about converting churches back to Ca tholic practices. Images and alters returned. The Book of Common Prayer was removed and clerical celibacy was re-imposed and Eucharistic practices reaffirmed. She met her opposition with steely-eyed defiance. Because of the sheer numbers of executio ns of Protestant leaders, the English would eventually call her Bloody Mary. Mary died only five years into her reign. Had she lived longer, England would have remained a Catholic country for decades (Dickens 203). Mary was succeeded by her half sister, Elizabeth, Henrys daughter with Ann Boleyn. Elizabeth assumed the thr one in 1558 and reigned until 1603. She was perhaps Englands greatest monarch and many proclaim her to be the
29 greatest and most brilliant monarch in the history of Europe. Elizabeth understood that her country was being torn apart by the warring factions. She repealed Marys Catholic legislation but s he did not return England to Edwards more austere Protestantism. Instead, s he worked out a compromise church that retained as much as possible from the Ca tholic church while putting into place most of the foundational ideas of Protestantism (Dickens 203). Elizabeths greatest legacy was the spir it of compromise that infused her version of the Church of England. She managed to please Catholics by retaining several important aspects of Catholicism while appeasing moderate Calvinists who wanted all traces of the Roman church to be expunged. She accomplished this by allowing English Calvinists (c alled Puritans because they wanted to purify the church of all Roman influences ) to participate in Parliament and set up semi-autonomous congregations that practiced Calvin ist doctrine, but still recognized the Queen as the head of the church (Dickens 210). In March 1603, with the old queen clearly dying, her chief minister Robert Cecil, sent King James Vl of Scotland a draft proclamation of his ascension to the English throne. Elizabeth died in the early hours of March 24 and James was proclaimed king in London later that sa me day. As James made his way from Scotland south to London, his new subjects flocked to see him, relieved above all that the succession had triggered neit her unrest nor invasion. Although his succession had gone smoothly, in the first year of his reign James survived two assassination plots against his life. In religious matters James attempted to
30 continue the example that E lizabeth had set for him, but this would prove difficult for him (Croft 35-37). James set about ending the long Arm ada War with Spain. Since he had never been a party to it, and because of t he skilled diplomatic efforts of Robert Cecil and Henry Howard, England was abl e to conclude a peace treaty with Spain. However, freedom of worship for Catholics in England continued to be a major objective of Spanish policy, causi ng constant dilemmas for James. He was distrusted abroad for his repre ssion of Catholics, and distrusted at home for his tolerance of them. At the opening of Jame s first parliament in 1605, a soldier was found guarding twenty barrels of gunpowder in the cellars of the Parliament building. These explosives were int ended to blow up both parliament and the king. The discovery of the Catholic G unpowder Plot, as it quickly became known, forced James to take stricter measures with Catholics. In 1606, Parliament passed an act which would require any citi zen to take an Oath of Allegiance, incorporating a denial of the popes authority over the king. In practice James proved lenient to Catholic laymen who t ook the Oath of A llegiance (Croft 37). In addition to having difficulties with Catholics, James began to have problems with the more radical Calvinists as well. In England at this time there was a growing movement within the Chur ch of England. Many believed that reform had not gone far enough. Those in this movement believed that the Church of England still had too many trappings of Roman Catholicism and needed to be purified. Those in this movement became known as Puritans. The Puritans had hoped that, with James (from Calvinist Scotland) becoming the new
31 king, they could continue to reform the English church. The Puritans presented their new king with their Millenary Petition. The puritans hoped that this petition would rid the Church of England of the last vestiges of Catholicism (Gaustad). Instead of enacting their petition, James took a hard line against the Puritans. This only aggravated their positi on in the church. Those who refused to conform to the pressures of the king we re referred to as Separatists. Some Separatists left England for the Net herlands, where those with religious differences were granted some semblance of religious toleration. After a decade in the Netherlands, they determined that they no longer wanted to choose between their God and their country. They decided to go to the New World, so that they could bring up their children as English citizens (Gaustad 14). Other Separatists chose to return to England and, eventually, formed what became the first English Baptist Church. Even though they offered civil obedience to the state, they refused spiritual obedience and they suffered persecution because of it One of their early leaders, John Murton, declared it is the foulest of crimes to fo rce peoples bodies to a worship where into which they cannot bring their spir its (Gaustad 16). Aboard the ship, the Arabella, on his way to the New World, John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company, wrote of his hopes for the new colony. In his A Model of Christian Charity Winthrop called upon his fellow migrants to join together to build a Christian commonwealt h in America. He believed that the colonists had a spec ial vocation to love and support one another and obey the Lords commandments. Winthrop stated that this was
32 necessary for we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us (Winthrop 10) Winthrop believed that they would forge a Christian commonwealth so ideal th at all would know that they were on the right path. These colonists believed that they would take their successful experiment back to England, where they would proceed to purify the English church (Croft 43). As the era of Christianity in Americ a began, Luthers concept of Christian freedom had ultimately been translated into the concept of winning your religious freedom through armed force (the Treaty of Augsburg) while neglecting (at best) those religious minorities with different views. Even worse, other groups, who just recently experienced persecution themse lves, became the persecutors (such as Calvins burning Michael Servetus at the stake for heresy). Freedom became the right to impose yo ur views on others.
33 The Development of t he Separation of Church and State in America The American experience of religi ous toleration and the separation of church and state developed over hundreds of years. This development was helped, and occasionally hindered, by unique conditions in the American colonies. Americas unique experiments wit h religious toleration and separation of church and state ar e still being fine-tuned today. In the 16th and early 17th centuries, the prevai ling Orthodox Christian attitude toward government was that God in stituted governments in order to save depraved men from their own d epravity. God then left the details to the particular circumstance. The state was necessary to curb the impulses of men. In addition, there was no idea of equality among men. There were to be definite rankings among men with inferiors obeying superiors Anything less than strict adherence to the laws of the state and the church would result in tumult and horror (Wilson 26). During this period, every reputable stat e in the western world believed that it could allow only one chur ch and every citizen should be compelled to attend. When the Puritans came to New England in 1630, the idea that a government could allow more than one religion had not arrived on the European continent. One reason for this was that some radical elements in the Reformation movement had become associated (mostly mistakenly) with violence. These radical elements were represented in several minority groups referred to today under the generic term of Anabaptists. T hey probably became associated with violence and disorder because they persi stently challenged such notions as the
34 Christian church should be maintained an d supported by the power of the state. These early advocates of the separation of church and state caused alarm across Europe and tended to confirm the majo rity view that established state churches should be the norm (Handy 3). The Puritans were no different in th is regard for they believed that it should be their reformed church that shoul d be the state church. Puritan theorists also believed in a parliamentary concept ion of society. T he government should owe its existence to the compact of the governed (Wilson 29). No doubt the Puritans believed that gov ernment originated in t he consent of the governed, because that would allow them to chastise the Stuart kings and support their allies in the English Parliament. These colonists fully intended to return one day to England, when the time was right, to purify the English c hurch. Many other Separatists believed that the English chur ch could not be saved, and it was up to them to form a church that would, indeed, be pure. O ne of those Separatists was Roger Williams, who left for the Massachusetts Bay Col ony within a few months of Winthrops sailing (Gaustad 19). Roger Williams Almost immediately upon his arrival, Roger Williams began to have problems in Massachusetts. He was offered a position as a parish minister but, because he felt that these Separatists continued to be connected to rather than separated from the English church, turned it down. These colonists wanted to remain bound to both nation and church. Only in this way could they purify their national church and reclaim their bel oved homeland (Gaustad 25). Many
35 Puritans, especially those that l eaned towards Congregationalism, were particularly insistent that the church, because it was charged with the spiritual welfare of its members, must not become involved in the activities of the state. To them it was paramount t hat the church not do the wo rk of the state, even at the states request. To allow this woul d put the church back on the road to papism (Morgan 66). Williams was clearly in the same camp in this regard. He felt strongly about separation from the English church, no t just because he felt it insufficiently Protestant, but because it wa s, by definition, a political church. He wanted the church in New England to be a sparkling m anifestation of Christianity which kept conscience undefiled (Gaustad 31). Williams not only felt strongly about separating from the English church, but also separating the church and the state (Wilson 28). Williams used the metaphor of the church as a garden and the wilderness of the world. He argued that if ever the wall of separation is breached the people should rebuild the wall (Gaustad 33) Williams spent considerable time among the native people, who were quite hospitable towards him. He lear ned the Narragansett language and refused to try to convert them to Christianity. Williams believed that the Narragansett were spiritual people and that any attemp t to force them to convert would be abhorrent to Christendom. He also felt that this would produce an entirely unacceptable mixing of politi cs and religion (Gaustad 30). Williams also objected to the requirement that an oath of loyalty be sworn to the governor by all males sixteen years of age and older. This oath ended with
36 the words so help me God. Williams considered requiring this phrase a sacrilege, because someone with no charac ter would not hesitate to swear an oath to God. In 1636, after stays in Boston, Salem and Plym outh, Williams was banished from Massachusetts Bay. After receiving a wa rning from Winthrop, he left Massachusetts. The colony intended to send him back to England where he would have met with severe persecution. Instead, he managed to leave Massachusetts in time and, after much hardship, made his way south, out of the reach of the Massachusetts Bay col ony. There, he founded Rhode Island and lived by his most cherished beliefs (Gaustad 35). William Penn Another contributor to American religious pluralism was William Penn. Penns father was a friend of the Stuart kings and this relationship served young Penn well. He was a Quak er, a religion anathema to most members of the Church of England. Quakers claim what amounts to direct revelation from God. They call it an inner light of the same kind that the apostles had received from Christ himself. To them, the Holy Scri ptures were no more than an imperfect record of past revelations of people just like themselves. They also deny that Christs sacrifice was sufficient in itself to bring redemption. However, they do believe that all men are capable of redem ption, if they fo llow the inner light (Morgan 45). Penn, after serving a term in Newgate Prison for his beliefs, managed to recover the place that his father had a rranged for him at the kings court. This he managed to do without having to sacrifice his religious convictions. In 1681, he
37 managed to convince the king to give him Pennsylvania as a refuge for Quakers, presumably in payment for a debt ow ed to his father (Morgan 57). Penn had been raised a Protestant, a gentlem an, and an Englishman, and Penn was especially proud to be all three. Unfort unately for Penn, he was forced to spend an inordinate amount of time in Englan d defending his Quaker beliefs (Morgan 49). Up until 1688, when James ll was oust ed by revolution from the throne of England, William Penn was in daily attenda nce at Whitehall, advocating for better treatment for Quakers and other religious dissenter s (Morgan 57). One of the strongest arguments that Penn made against government interference in religion, and one of the most effective, was the pr oposition that this interference posed a threat to the individuals ri ght to property. The protection given to property rights in the English Constitution had always been considered param ount (Morgan 64). The difference between the Puritans and the Quakers could not be more striking. While the Puritans considered themselves warriors in the New World, the Quakers by contrast were pacif ists opposed to all wars and capital punishment. The Puritans created a theoc racy, or state church. The Quakers believed in religious toleration and the separ ation of church and state. It was their conviction in the necessity of the separ ation of church a nd state that sent Quakers on no less an urgent and compelling a mission than the Puritans quest to be a City on a Hill (Butler 42). The Puritans never claimed to be in favor of separating church and state or religious toleration. When Roger W illiams was having his problems with the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the colony stood accused by many of being
38 intolerant. Nathaniel Ward defended his col ony against the charge. Not so, said Ward, all Familists, Antominians, Anabaptis ts, and other Enthusiasts shall have free Liberty to keep away from us (G austad 43). In 1681, a congregation of Anabaptists published an attack upon the gov ernment of Massachusetts Bay. In their argument, they used the original settl ers as an example. They stated that the government should be tolerant because t he original settlers were looking for tolerance. The Massachusetts Bay colonists were not looking for tolerance, they were on a mission to establish a pure Christian church (Wilson 28). In 1708, in an attempt to deter criticism and to appease England, the Connecticut colony enacted the Dissenters Act, which tolerated the presence of Quakers and Anglicans as long as they s ubmitted to be doubly taxed. By 1751, a Congregational congregation ha d petitioned the Connecticu t legislature for relief from the requirement that they support the established church. They believed that there was no natural r eason why they should support any religion other than their own (Wilson 38). By the mid-eighteenth century, it had become apparent to most that the only acceptable solution to the colonial re ligious situation was toleration (Wilson 37). Perry Miller, in his Errand into the Wilderness states that the errand could not have but failed because the American environment required change. This new American environment coaxed a ne w way to look at things, a new excitement (Butler 35). F our of the colonies never had an established church. Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware developed without an established church. It is important to not e that the examples set by Williams and
39 Penn, who put their principles into practi ce, greatly contributed to the notion that a state with no established church could work (Hardy 143). In the middle of the eighteenth cent ury a religious revival, the Great Awakening occurred. This movement is credited with br inging significant numbers of people into the Christian faith. These revival meetings were so well attended that they greatly exceeded anythin g in the history of colonial popular assembly. The masses of people attending these meetings influenced the development of a new style of preachi ng known as camp revival. Itinerant preachers, such as Geor ge Whitefield, traveled throughout the colonies, speaking to the masses. Some historians credit this new evangelical style of preaching with creating a radi cal, democratic, social and political ideology that provided an initial thrust toward Americ an nationalism. This ideology encouraged an impulse toward the creat ion of a society fundament ally incompatible with traditional notions of order, hi erarchy and deference (Stout 92). The Great Awakening also provided impetus to the cause of religious toleration. The great number s of people brought to Christ ianity during this time brought focus to the issue. Before th is time, indifference to religion was widespread and, in such an environment, to leration is not an issue. It is when religion becomes more vital that bigotry becomes more pervasive. In some areas, the Great Awakening initially had a de trimental effect on religious liberty. Connecticut, for example, had allowed some measure of toleration to Quakers and Baptists, but the same toleration was refused to Presbyterians and Congregationalists (Wilson 51).
40 While progress towards religious tole ration was slow, it did enjoy many significant victories. James Madison described how in the Virgin ia legislature in 1779, his friend, Thomas Jefferson, m anaged to win enactment of the Bill for Religious Toleration. While the idea for this bill had long been Jeffersons quest, it was the able maneuvering of Madison that brought it to fruition. He explained that Jefferson believed this bill to be one of his best efforts in the cause of liberty, to which he was so devoted. Madison said that the bill is certainly the strongest legal barrier that could be erected against the connection of church and state so fatal to the liberty of both (Wilson 84). In order to finally prove successful in enacting Jeffersons Bill for Religious Toleration, Madison first had to defeat Go vernor Patrick Henrys bill to assess every person, regardless of denomination, to support the Church of England in Virginia. To do this Madison needed to rally Christian support for his cause, which was being branded an antireligi ous cause. Madisons anonymously penned Memorial and Remonstrance is an import ant document in that effort. The language of the document was couched to garner Christian support, and it proved enormously effective. In it, Madis on argued, that the right of every citizen to the free exercise of his re ligion according to the dictat es of conscience is held by the same tenure as all other rights. The support Madison whipped up with his Remonstrance was multiplied many times over by the support of the Baptists. This support not only doomed Henrys assessment act, but created a backlash of sympathy for Jeffersons Statute for Establishing Religi ous Freedom. Seven years after Jefferson first introduced the meas ure in the Virginia legislature, it
41 passed quickly (Church 240). Prior to the bills passage, Jeffersons original document had to survive several attempts to revise it. One particular effort sought to change Jeffersons wording. Jeffersons text read, the holy author of our religion, by whom he meant God. So me delegates thought it vital to qualify this by adding Jesus Christ. As Jefferson recalled in his Autobiography the insertion was rejected by a great majo rity, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mant le of its protection, t he Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohomet an, the Hindoo, and infide l of every denomination (Church 241). While religious liberty was secure in Virginia, these issues would be revisited when the states abandoned the Articles of Confederation and began the adoption of the Constitution. In the Federalist No. 10, Madison argues that zeal for different opinions concerning religi on cancel each other out and thereby neutralize the danger of religious tyranny. In an early draft to Jefferson, Madison put the matter more bluntly. Even in the coolest state, he said, religion has been much oftener a motive to oppression than a restraint from it (Church 314). In Virginia, several hundred Baptists we re standing against ratification of the Constitution, primarily because there we re no protections for the rights of conscience. Madisons stated objections to amending the Constitution put his candidacy for the Virginia ratifying convention in jeopardy. Since a Madison defeat would remove from the floor the new Constitutions most knowledgeable advocate, ratification in closely divi ded Virginia hinged on his election and national ratification depended on the st ate of Virginia (Church 315).
42 In order to win over the Baptists, Madison had to convince them to not amend the Constitution in the convention. This would have required each state to vote on Virginias amendments, a practica l impossibility. In addition he needed to convince Elder John Leland that he would fi ght for a Bill of Rights to amend the Constitution, even though he had fought so fervently against them. Madison pledged that he would work diligently for the rights of conscience in the fullest latitude, the freedom of the press, trials by jury, security against general warrants, etc (Church 318) The Baptists gave their support to Madison and with his election to Congress he began to fashion Anericas Bill of Rights. It has often been said that without Madison there ma y not have been a Bill of Rights. More accurately, without several hundred principl ed Baptists there might be no Bill of Rights. George Washington On September 26, 1789, one day after enacting the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, the Congress recommended to President Washington that he proclaim a national day of prayer and thanksgiving. It proved difficult for anyone to oppose it because the most conservati ve delegate was reluctant to vote against God and the most radical was delighted to press him into service. Washington did proclaim the day, and during George Washingtons presidency he firmly attempted to drive the ship of state right down the middle. Washington worried that without a concerted effort our new nation would become hopelessly mired in factionalism. In an early example Presbyterians complained that
43 Washingtons declaration lacked a decidedly Christian flavor. This is because he bent over backwards to accommodate diverse viewpoints (Church 63). Within months of assuming national command, Washington had established a clear protocol for dealing wit h the nations religious constituencies. From his letters to religious bodie s we can determine three interlocking imperatives: 1) a national commitment to defend individual freedom of conscience; 2) absolute governmental neutra lity with respect to religion; and 3) the obligation of religious bodies to uphold the law by supporting the constitutional powers invested in the government and its representatives (Church 67). While declaring his opposition to any kind of restraint upon religious principles, Washington also had another priori ty, that of quiet to the state. He would uphold religious freedom but religion had no business intruding itself in government affairs (Church 69). One religious group in particular caused Washington considerable problems. At their peak in the mid-sevent eenth century, The Society of Friends (the Quakers) had become the third larges t denomination in the colonies. Their self-described holy experiment took civic root in America largely due to William Penn. The Quakers felt it their moral duty to attack social conventions when directed to do so by a higher law. On two occasions the Quakers beseeched Washington to support their petition, promoting the abolition of slavery and discouraging every species of traffic in slaves (Church 74). Washington believed that these Quaker activists were moral absolutists with no respect for the law and that they were in fact tyrants. Washi ngton believed that if individuals or self-
44 sanctioned groups should attempt to im pose their moral or political agenda on society at large, the nation would be beset by faction (Church 77). While Washington slapped at the Quakers for their intrusion into the affairs of state, he stood just as ready to take on the other side as well. American support for the French revolution was widespr ead as well as for its principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. As the Frenc h revolution continued, it grew more blood thirsty and more anti-church. This situation increasingly worried the New England cultural establishment. They view ed the situation in France as a direct threat to their fragile dem ocracy. Democratic clubs were spread across the country and New England clerics r epeatedly denounced them. These attacks continued and led one Republican spokesm an to counterattack, pronouncing religion as detrimental to liberty (Church 98). As the national issue concerning the democratic clubs continued, one important national figure had yet to be heard. When he did make his position known, Washington came down firmly against the democratic clubs. Washington was such a commanding figure, that even Jefferson chose not to confront the President directly. He complained to Madi son that it is incredible indeed that the President should have permitted himself to be the organ of such an attack on the freedom of discussion, the freedom of writing, prin ting and publishing (Church 98). While Washington was President he was able by the force of his will to beat back factionalism, but as soon as he retired to Mt. Vernon, factionalism surged. This was to be no trifling matter, for the sides themselves would frame their battles as the fight of sacred order versus sacred liberty.
45 John Adams Washingtons successor, John Adams, was a much different animal. Adams was a life long church-goer. Dr awing on New England puritan heritage, Adams codified his beliefs in religion and Christian governance when he drafted a document for the Massachusetts State Constitution in 1780. In it Adams sought a Christian requirement for state office and provisions to underwrite the church with direct governmental support. Adams insisted that a belief in God, Gods government, and a future st ate of rewards and punishm ents are the one true foundation of morality (Church 119). Until he converted to a strict separationist stance later in life, Adams was doggedly cons istent in his views. He believed that the government 1) had no business interfering with peoples religious beliefs, and 2) was responsible on a statewide leve l for supporting the church financially and on a national level for proscribing occasiona l religious observance as dictated by the common good. It is somewhat interest ing that the apparent conflict of these two positions and the likeliho od that they could ultimately collide appears not to have been apparent to Adams. Adams failu re to recognize this would have serious implications for his political career (Church 12)). At the beginning of Washingtons fi rst term as President, Adams led a campaign that would have placed lofty titl es on the new president. His campaign was met with catcalls and mockery, but it clearly showed Adams sympathies. Adams fondly touted a limited monarchy, and believed that not only was
46 aristocracy essential and i nevitable but that social inequality was not a problem, but rather the only possible solution fo r a stable state (Church 144). Finding himself cast as the new countrys comical, self-appointed protocol officer and the butt of jokes, Adams was spurred into literary com bat. In his multi-volume, Discourses on Davila Adams dismissed reason, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as bromides. Unfortunately for A dams, he got a little carried away in one passage and stated Every man should know his place and be made to keep it. Few people had actually read Davila but savvy Republican operatives dug through it, and when Adams ran for re-elect ion, this was widely disseminated by Jeffersons Democratic-Republicans (Church 193). Yet another Adams mistake was re-appointing Washingtons cabinet under his presidency. Few of these men had any loyalty to him. In February 1798, Alexander Hamilton secretly convin ced Secretary of War James McHenry to pitch the idea of declaring another day of National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving. Hamilton remembered how well Washingtons prayer day had worked to suppress the democratic clubs and his purpose here was purely political. The first group to call for anot her prayer day was the Presbyterian Church. Adams supported the proposal but Adams was no George Washington and he lacked the same universal accl aim of Washington (Church 161). The national day of fasting, humiliati on and prayer proved a catastrophe for Adams. It ended up embarrassing the Federalists as much as it chastened the Republicans. While it proved a unifyi ng force for his Federalists, it raised populist concerns for any hint of collu sion between the old church and the new
47 state and found few friends in some of Americas spiritual realms. His fast day alienated untold numbers of American B aptists and Methodists, whose churches were not languishing as New England preache rs claimed theirs to be, but were instead flourishing and multiplying lifted on the wings of religious liberty (Church 166-167). Episcopal Bishop James Madison (t he uncle of the future president) called on every Episcopal parish in Virginia to boycott the fast day to protest the governments abandonment of Chri stian liberty (Church 168). One particular incident in Adams presidency proved to be most particularly unexpected. Ironically, under Adams Christian watch the executive branch would issue its most explicit rejection of any formal entanglement between Christianity and the federal gover nment. Adams submitted to the United States Senate a disclaimer in the Tr eaty of Tripoli wh ich stated As the Government of the United St ates of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility of Musselmen and as the said States never have entered into any act of war of hostility against any Mohometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from re ligious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing bet ween the two countries (Church 208). Taken at face value it is quite astonish ing but it is generally believed that in signing the treaty Adams either glossed over this article as being of no portent or read its meaning narrowly (Church 208). During Adams campaign for re-elect ion against Jefferson, the Baptists, Methodists and other religi ous minorities, such as the Quakers, supported
48 Jefferson. Adams campaign was seriously hampered by fears that he was flirting with imposing a state religion. These fears neutraliz ed the Federalists efforts to turn the nations true Christians against Jefferson and those Federalist efforts were considerable. Theodore Dwight, the editor of the Connecticut Current wrote during the 1800 campaign that should Je fferson prove victorious, there is scarcely a possibility that we shall esc ape a Civil War. Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of distress, the soil will be soaked with blood, the nation black with crimes (Church 188). Thomas Jefferson Jefferson was victorious in the election of 1800, and soon after several townships in Massachusetts and New Ha mpshire began to speak of secession. However, not only did the election of Jeffe rson not bring about havoc in society, religion thrived under his administration. For Jefferson, his emphasis on liberty, far from compromising faith, perfected faith by ceding it full range (Church 236). Federalist detractors had been proved wrong. Liberty had served the church, not crippled it. With the election of Jeffers on, Americas first great battle between church and state had been decided. The Federalists had been soundly def eated. John Adams was the last Federalist ever elected president. Adams had extensive differences with Alexander Hamilton, the a cknowledged leader of the pa rty. Hamiltons death in 1804 also hastened the partys decline depriving it of perhaps its ablest leader. The Federalists also became identified wit h notions that are now considered to
49 be anti-American, namely proaristocracy, and anti-democratic. His supporters were even critical of the red, whit e and blue colors of the American flag, considering them sacrilegious. In addition the next ten presidents are considered by most historians to have been not parti cularly religious and therefore much less likely to agree with the positions of the New England church (Church 236). The final nail in the coffin of the Feder alists came shortly after the War of 1812, with the split of the Un itarians from the traditional Congregationalists of New England. The leading Puritan churc hes of New York had long since adopted Presbyterianism and this latest split of Unitarianism from Congregationalism brought about considerable sniping and outright hatred among the parties (Church 144). With New Engla nd church unity in disarray, many in the religious community turned their attentions away from the political in favor of the establishment of voluntary associations This trend only increased the sort of religious democracy that the New England church had for so long disdained (Church 289). As the nation approached t he era of the civil war, religious arguments began to rage over slavery but, in general issues between religion and the state were relatively quiet. For the most part i ssues involving the separation of church and state would not be revisited until the twentieth century.
50 The Separation of Church and State in America Today In the early 1950s, in response to the spread of communism around the world, and specifically in the Soviet Unio n and China, the U.S. Congress passed several measures intended to recognize the special nature of religion to the national identity. The Congress also pa ssed a measure designed to sharpen the distinction in the separat ion of church and state. In early 1951 the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic fraternal organization) in New York City felt that the Pledge of Allegiance was incomplete without a reference to the deity, so they adopt ed the now familiar under God to the pledge recited by the Knight s at their meetings. Soon all Knights nationwide had adopted the revised pledge. The Knights repeatedly sought to have the Pledge changed officially by having legislation introduced in Congress. All of these attempts were unsuccessful, until Pr esident Dwight Eisenhower attended services at New York Avenue Presbyteri an Church on Lincoln Sunday February 7, 1954. The minister, George Docherty, a native of Scotland, knew that Eisenhower would be in attendance and t ook the opportunity to preach on a special topic. He believed that what made the United States unique and strong was her sense of being the nation that Lincoln described in the Gettysburg Address as a nation under God. Dockery maintained that, without the mention of the deity, the pledge could refer to almost any nation. Eisenhower was convinced and threw his suppor t behind adopting the change.
51 In the same year, 1954, the U.S. congress adopted changes in the tax law that restricts campaign activity by nonpr ofit organizations. Under the Internal Revenue Code, all IRC Sect ion 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, are absolutely prohi bited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective pub lic office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of posit ion (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition agains t political campaign activity. Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. For decades after the adoption of these restrictions there were few violations, but, in the past decade complaints of noncompliance have significant ly increased. Recently, a group of 32 pastors from around the country banded together on S unday September 29, 2008 to openly break the federal campaign laws in order to provoke a national court case designed to prompt the feder al courts to throw out th e 54-year-old ban (Slevin 3A). Since the earliest days of our country, the motto, E Pluribus Unum, was widely considered to be our nations national motto, but by 1956 it had never been established by legislati on. The Congressional Record of 1956 reads: At the present time the United States has no national motto. The committee deems it most appropriate that In God We Trust be so designated as U.S. national motto. One possible origin of In God We Trust is believed to be from the final
52 stanza of the The Star Spangled Banner. The song contains an early reference to a variation of the phrase: And this be our motto: In God is our Trust. In the 1970s and 80s many of the churches that had been considered mainstream, such as Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist and Catholic, began to experience significant losses in membership. At approximately the same time many evangelical chur ches reported significant gains in membership. These churches had adopt ed strong programs designed to bring people in to their churches. The mainstream churches had enjoyed so much popularity over such a prolonged peri od that when their populations began to dwindle they were unprepared. In additi on, the mainstream churches seemed comfortable with the establis hed separation of church a nd state as it has long been known. More conservative Christians, as their numbers have steadily increased, have become more and more vocal in their discontent with the status quo. They are devoted to living their fait h thoroughly including in their everyday lives and see many current manifestati ons of current popular culture as an assault on their values. For them, a se cular popular culture is invading their culture, making it difficult to practice t heir faith, thereby pr eventing their members exercising their right of freedom of religion. Our inheritance from the earliest days of our republic is, essentially, that a considerable part of our population is distrustful of religious involvement in government. They are fear ful that some religious denomination or set of principles contrary to their own beliefs will somehow be imposed upon them, and that these principles will be used to in fluence policy and enact legislation to which
53 they are adamantly opposed. Because of this many are attracted to the Democratic Party which has favored a strong separation of church and state since the founding of the party by Thom as Jefferson. This situation often puts liberal Democrats in the unenviable position of appearing to advocate a godless society. Liberal Democrats feel they are under continuous assault from the religious right, which is trying to gain a foothold from which to expand conservative Christianitys influence on American government. As a result, Democratic groups feel compelled to guard against every instance of even remotely religious activity in governmen t, even when many times these activities are not politically popular (such as opposing faith based initiatives). Democrats complain that Republicans seem to never miss a chance to inject religion into government issues for political purposes. Democrats also note that Republicans today are of the political li neage of Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Party. Alexander Hamilton, t hough not particularly religious himself, repeatedly attempted to persuade President John Adams to proclaim official national prayer days fo r political purposes. The main arguments made by conservati ve Christian leaders today are 1) that the U.S. is a Christian nation 2) that the founding fa thers never intended the U.S. to be a secula r nation and 3) that Thomas Jeffersons wall of separation was only intended to be a oneway wall that prevents the government from interfering in religion, but not preventing relig ion from interfering in government. Conservative Christians believe that the systemat ic removal of God from our governmental activities dangerously turns our attention away from the
54 very ideals upon which our country was f ounded. They believe that many of the problems in our society today are caused by the secularism in society today. Much of the scholarly work in the area of the separati on of church and state in America has centered on such lofty goals as examining the Constitution of the United States and voluminous c ourt documents. Others meticulously scrutinize every word ever uttered by the founding fathers on the subject. During the last two decades, there has been a considerable increase in the debate concerning the separation of church and state. The religious right has become determined to infuse our governmental institutions with a decidedly more religious tone, while the religious left pr efers the separation of church and state as it is. But how does the average Amer ican feel about the separation of church and state? Shortly after the start of surveying respondents, it became apparent that most people, regardless of their educational levels or income levels, knew little about the subject. Many woul d immediately set the surv ey down and explain that they could not answer the questions. The respondents were then encouraged to read the question carefully and then just pi ck the answer that they felt was correct. This aspect of the surveying ac tually ended up being the portion of the project that proved to be t he most revealing because, in many instances, when respondents answered a question incorrectly, they were often joined by many others in their same political party. In fashioning the questions and being familiar with the arguments of both sides in the current battle over the s eparation of church and state, it was
55 expected that certain groups would answer certain questions a certain way. To some extent this proved to be true, however many answers proved to be strikingly opposite of what was expected. So me of the expectatio ns were: 1) that Republicans/Conservatives would answer t hat Congress had declared the U.S. a Christian nation 2) Republicans/Conservative s would have a nostalgic view of the good old days of the foundi ng fathers and that there was much more religious activity at that time 3) Republican/Conservatives would believe that the U.S. is not very religious today 4) Republican/Conservatives would be more knowledgeable than Liberal/Democrats rega rding the separation of church and state because it is a more pr essing issue for them and 5) Republican/Conservatives would not agree that the architects of the First Amendment to the Constitution intended to gr ant freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion. Republicans/Conservatives often will in voke the founding fathers in their arguments regarding the separation of church and state. Several questions were fashioned deliberately to see if it could be determined to which specific individuals they were referring. One of the statements in the George Washington Survey the stated the Puritans believe d that freedom of religion was for everyone. 80% of Republicans and Conservatives (Appendix A Page 1) answered false to this statement, whil e Democrat/Liberals answered false 91%. One of the statem ents in the John Adams Survey stat ed, from the first settlers in Massachusetts Bay Colony until today we have enjoyed fr eedom of religion. (Appendix A Page 2) 72% of Conservati ve/Republicans answered false to the
56 statement while Democrat/Liberals answe red false 89%. Also in the John Adams Survey, one statement concerned the be liefs of Roger Williams. 97% of Republican/Conservatives answered true to Roger Williams belief that the religion of Native Americans is an honor able faith (Appendix A Page 3.) The last statement designed to det ermine what these two groups thought about the founding fathers, was again from the Adams Survey where respondents were asked if they considered it true or false that of the first 14 U.S. Presidents were considered to be not particularl y religious. (Appendix A Page 4) 65% of Democrat/Liberals answered false, while 60% of Republican/Conservatives answered true. This was most defini tely not what was expected. It was expected that Republican/Conservatives woul d consider at least the first several presidents to be among the founders, and t hat they would have been somewhat religious When asked about this, many Republican/Conservatives answered that the first 14 presidents were politicians, after all. In the Washington Survey the res pondents were asked if it was true or false that, The word God is not mentioned anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. (Appendix A Page 5) 90% of Republican/C onservatives answered false while 79% of Democrat/Liberals answered true. In the A dams Survey the respondents were asked, The designers of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution considered it to grant us the freedom from religion as well as the freedom of religion. (A ppendix A Page 6) 72% of Republican/Conservatives answered false while 92% of Democrat/Liberals answered true.
57 Another area of questioning concerned actual occurrences during the early days of our republic. Republican/ Conservatives, in arguing their case against a strict separation of church and state, claim that the U.S. is a Christian nation. In the John Adams Survey the re spondents were asked if it was true or false that, Early in the Presidency of John Adams, and at hi s urging, the U.S. Congress passed legislation declaring the U.S. a Christian nation. (Appendix A Page 7) 75% of Republican/Conservativ es answered false while 73% of Democrat/Liberals answered true. The results from this question again were exactly the opposite of what was expected. Three questions were asked that concern individual states having established church whic h required that everyone su pport them. In the John Adams Survey, respondents were asked, Early in the history of the U.S., many of the states had Establish ed Churches which required everyone in that state to support them regardless of t heir personal religious aff iliation. (Appendix A Page 8) 77% of Republican/Conservatives answe red false to this question while 71% of Democrat/Liberals answered true. Also in the John Adams Survey, respondents were asked, Many American Patriots such as Patrick Henry believed that everyone should pay taxes to support an established church. (Appendix A Page 9) 86% of Republican/Cons ervatives answered false to this question while 81% of Democrat/Liberals answered true. In the Washington Survey the respondents were asked, Est ablishment Churches existed in the U.S. until 1961. (Appendix A Page 10) 78% of Republican/Conservatives
58 answered false while 74% of Democrats also answered false. The correct answer to these last three question s is true for all three. The Democrat/Liberals answering true to the first two and false to the last one shows a pattern that continued throughout the survey. Democrat/Liberals consistent ly answered in a way that showed that they believed that the country was much more religious during t he time of the founders. Unexpectedly, Republican/Conservatives cons istently did not view the country in the founders era as more religious than now. Some questions seemed to bother Republican/Conservatives so much so that perhaps they could not believe the answers to be true. In the George Washington Survey respondents were asked if, After the Revolutionar y War and the founding of the U.S. as a country, the state of Massachusetts regularly beat and executed persons found to have beliefs different from the official religion of Massachusetts . (Appendix A Page 11) 78% of Republican/Conservative s answered false while 81% of Democrat/Liberals answered true. Al so in the Washington Survey, the respondents were asked if, Early in the hi story of the U.S. nearly all states had religious tests that candidates were required to pass before they could serve in public office. (Appendix A Page 12) 94% of Republican/Conservatives answered false while 81% of Democrat/Liberals ans wered true. In the Adams Survey the respondents were asked, Madison believed that established religions were a horror that helped usher in slavery. (Appendix A Page 13) 62% of Republican/Conservatives answered false while 78% of Democrat/Liberals answered true. The correct answer to t hese last three questions is true.
59 Three questions that were asked focused on getting the respondents to compare the U.S. today wit h the era of the founders. In the John Adams Survey the respondents were asked to respond to the statement, The U.S. consumption of hard alcohol is 3 times what it was under President George Washington. (Appendix A Page 14) 72% of Republican/C onservatives answered false while 59% of Democrat/Liberals answered true. In the Washington Survey respondents were asked, The number of pe ople per capita that are members of a Christian church today is only a fraction of what is was when George Washington was president. (Appendix A Page 15) 60% of Republican/Conservatives answered true while 72% of Democrat/Liberals answered false. The correct answers to these last two questions are false. Perhaps the most telling question and answe r in the survey is found in the Washington Survey. The respondents were asked, The U.S. today is by all standards the most religious country in t he world. Admittedly the phrasing of this question is loaded. The addition of by all standards and most religious was designed to leave no room for equivo cation. (Appendix A Page16) 100% of Republican/Conservatives answered false while 53% of Democrat/Liberals answered true. In a recent study by t he University of Mich igan, the U.S. is ranked in the top five of the most religious countries in the world. Numerous other studies have been conducted and the U.S. is consistently in the top five. In addition, the other countries with which the U.S. shares the top five spots changes often.
60 In many countries, religious activity spikes when there are problems with the economy or social unrest. In the Univ ersity of Michigan study, Nigeria had recently been added to the list of the most religious countries. Conflict between Nigerian Christians and Muslims has dram atically increased. In heavily Muslim areas officials have implemented strict sharia laws. Persecution of Nigerian Christians by their own country has c aused an increase in religious practice. Interestingly enough, the study found that the worlds least religious country was Sweden, which until the late 20th century had an establ ished Lutheran state church. Respondents were asked if they belie ved that the Constitution should be changed to reflect Christian principles Overwhelmingly the results were consistently no. Democrat/Liberals feel that the separation of church and state that we have today is the result of gradual improvements over the last two hundred years. These improv ements allow them to develop their own personal relationship with God, as they see fit, without pressure from religious groups. Many feel that, even though they do not attend church regularly, they are spiritual people who feel more comfortable outside of any formal denomination. Republican/Conservatives would like the country to be more openly religious, invoking Gods name more o ften. When quizzed about how they would make the government more religious, they couldnt answer and often stated that changing the government would not work because you cant legislate morality. The consensus of their opinion seemed to be that they preferred our leaders be reminded to make decisions that are in agreement with Gods principles.
61 Republican/Conservatives, unexpectedly, did not want to change the Constitution or enact specific legislation. They just want God to be a bigger part of our national identity. In one respect, the positions of both groups could be considered identical. Both groups want to be able to worship in the fashion that they see fit without pressure from the governm ent or others. For Repub lican/Conservatives this means that the government and elected offi cials are not hostile to religion. For Democrat/Liberals this means that governm ent stay out of re ligious matters and that no religion become so influential as to be able to encroach upon their right to worship as they wish. Both groups felt that the laws and traditions of our separation of church and state have serv ed the country well and that no changes should be made. The more extreme leaders of both gr oups seem unwilling to accept the status quo and undoubtedly we wil l see a long continuation of this battle. It will be interesting to see where it leads us. H opefully our laws and traditions regarding the separation of church and state remain in place to continue to serve us in the future. Our national system of separat ing church and state as served us remarkable well. Most other industrializ ed nations in the world have suffered extensive losses in membership and chur ch attendance. Some nations that formerly had institutionalized religious denominations (such as the Lutheran church in Sweden) now have some of the lowest rates of religious activity in the world. Our national system of church and state should be protected from those
62 who wish to improve it in the name of religion, not for the benefit of having a secular nation, but rather of having a more religious one.
63 List of References Aland, Kurt, ed. A Sermon on Indulgences and Grace. 1518. in Martin Luthers 95 Theses St. Louis and London: Concordia. 1967. Bainton, Roland J. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther New York: Meridian. 1995. Barth, Karl. The Theology of John Calvin Grand Rapids: WB Edmunds Publishing Co. 1995. Brown, Peter Hume. John Knox: A Biography London: A. and C. Black. 1895. Church, Forrest. So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and The First Great Battle Over Church and State Harcourt, Inc. Orlando, 2007. Croft, Pauline. King James London: Palgrove Macmillan. 2003. Dickens, A. G. The English Reformation New York: Schocken Books. 1964 Ellis, Sir Henry, ed. Halls Chronicle London: 1809. Gabler, Ulrich. Huldrych Zwingli: His Life and Work Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1986. Gaustad, Edwin S. Liberty of Conscience: Roger Williams in America Grand Rapids: Erdman Publishing. 1991. Handy, Robert T. A History of the Churches in the United States and Canada New York: Oxford University Press. 1977. Hooker, Richard. Discovery and Reformation Series Washington State University. Jan 2008. http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/REFORM.htm Lohse, Bernhard. Martin Luther: An Introduction to His Life Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1986. MacGregor, Geddess. The Thundering Scot; A Portrait of John Knox Philadelphia: Westminster Press. 1957.
64 Miller, Perry. Errand into the Wilderness Ed. Butler, Jon and Harry S Stout. Religion in American History: A Reader New York: Oxford University Press. 1998. Morgan, Edmund S. The World and William Penn Ed. Butler, Jon and Harry S. Stout. Religion in American History: A Reader New York: Oxford University Press. 1998. Morgan, Edmund S. Roger Williams: The Church and the State New York: Harcourt, Brace. 1967. Percy, Eustace. John Knox London: James Clark. 1964. Potter, G.R. Huldrych Zwingli New York: St. Matrins Press. 1977 Potter, G.R. Zwingli Cambridge, London & New York: Cambridge University Press. 1976. Stout, Harry S. Religion, Communications, a nd the Ideologic al Origins of The American Revolution Ed. Butler, Jon and Harry S. Stout. Religion in American History: A Reader New York: Oxford University Press. 1998. Wilson, David Harris. K ing James VI and I London: Jonathan Ca pe Ltd. 1963. Wilson, John F. Ed. Church and State in American History Boston: D.C. Heath and Co. 1965.
65 Bibliography Gaustad, Edwin S. Sworn on the Altar of God: A Relig ious Biography of Thomas Jefferson Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Erdmans Publishing Company. 1996. Gee, Henry and William John Hardy, ed. The Millenary Petition New York: Macmillan. 1986. Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia 1861. Foreword Thomas Perkins Abernathy. New York: Harper Touchstone. 1964. Knox, John and David Lang. The Works of John Knox Edinburgh: J. Thin 1895. Locke, John. Treatise of Civil Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration Charles L. Sherman, ed. New Yo rk: Appleton-Century-Crofts. 1937. Loches, Gottfried W. Zwinglis Thought: New Perspectives London: E.J. Brille. 1981. Madison, James. A Memorial and Remonstrance 1785. Goldwin, Robert A. and Art Kaufman, eds. Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Sanford, Charles B. The Religious Life of Thomas Jefferson Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. 1984. Solt, Leo Frank. Church and State in Early Modern England: 1509-1640 Oxford: Oxford Univ ersity Press. 1990. Stewart, Alan. The Cradle King: A Life of James VI and James I .London: Chalto and Wondus. 1985. Winthrop, John. A Model of Christian Charity 1630. Eds. Dunn, Richard S. and Laetitia Yeandle. The Journal of John Winthrop 1630-1649 Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 1996.
Appendix A Statement Regarding the Founding Fathers True or False? The Puritans believed that freedom of religion was for everyone. FALSE Republicans/Conservatives 80% Democrat/Liberals 91% Figure 1 74% 76% 78% 80% 82% 84% 86% 88% 90% 92% FALSE FALSE 80% 91% Republicans/ConservativesDemocrat/Liberals Page 1
Appendix A: (Coninued) Statement regarding the Founding Fathers True or False? From the first settlers in Massachusetts Bay until today we have enjoyed freedom of religion. FALSE Republican/Conservatives 72% Democrat/Liberals 89% Figure 2 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 FALSE FALSE 0.72 0.89 Republican/ConservativesDemocrat/Liberals Page 2
Appendix A:(Continued) Statement Regarding the Founding Fathers True or False? Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, believed that the religion of Native Americans was an honorable faith, that they should not be converted to Christianity and that no one should be forced to swear oaths to God. TRUE Republican/Conservatives 97% Democrat/Liberals 78% Figure 3 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 TRUE TRUE 0.97 0.78 Republican/ConservativesDemocrat/Liberals Page 3
Appendix A: (Continued) Statement regarding the Founding Fathers True or False? 13 of the first 14 U.S. Presidents were considered to be not particularly religious. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 60% 40% Democrat/Liberal 35% 65%67Figure 4 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 TRUE 0.6 0.35 FALSE 0.4 0.65 Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 4
Appendix A:(Continued) Statements regarding general knowledge True or False? The word "God" is not mentioned anywhere in the U.S. Constitution TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservatives 10% 90% Democrat/Liberals 79% 21% Figure 5 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% TRUE 10% 79% FALSE 90% 21% Republican/ConservativesDemocrat/Liberals Page 5
Appendinx A:(Continued) Statement regarding general knowledge True or False? The designers of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution considered it to g rant us freedom from reli g ion as well as freedom from reli g ion TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 28% 72% Democrat/Liberal 92% 8%68Figure 6 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% TRUE 28% 92% FALSE 72% 8% Republican/Conservative Democrat/Liberal Page 6
Appendix A:(Continued) Statement regarding general knowledge True or False? Early in the Presidency of John Adams and at his urging, the U.S. Congress passed legislation declaring the Christian nation. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 25% 75% Democrat/Liberal 73% 27% Figure 7 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% TRUE 25% 73% FALSE 75% 27% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 7
Appendix A:(Coninued) Statement concerning "establishment churches." True or False? Early in the hstory of the U.S., many states had "Established Churches" that required everyone to support them regardless of their personal religious affiliation. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 23% 77% Democrat/Liberal 71% 29% Figure 8 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% TRUE 23% 71% FALSE 77% 29% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 8
Appendix A:(Continued) Statement regarding American Patriots True or False? Many American Patriots, such as Patrick Henry, believed that everyone should pay taxes to support an established church. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 14% 86% Democrat/Liberal 81% 19% Figure 9 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% TRUE 14% 81% FALSE 86% 19% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 9
Appendix A:(Continued) Statement regarding American Patriots True or False? Establishment Churches existed in the U.S. until 1961. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 22% 78% Democrat/Liberal 26% 76% Figure 10 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% TRUE 22% 26% FALSE 78% 76% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 10
Appendix A:(Continued) Statements concerning the nation's early history. True or False? After the Revolutionary War and the founding of the U.S. as a nation, the State of Massachusetts regularly beat and executed persons found to have held beliefs different from the official religion of Massachusetts. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 22% 78% Democrat/Liberal 81% 19% Figure 11 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% TRUE 22% 81% FALSE 78% 19% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 11
Appendix A:(Continued) Statement regarding the nation's early history True or False? Early in the history of the U.S. nearly all states had religious tests that candidates had to pass before they could serve in public office. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 6% 94% Democrat/Liberal 81% 19% Figure 12 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% TRUE 6% 81% FALSE 94% 19% Republican/Conservative Democrat/Liberal Page 12
Appendix A:(Continued) True or False? Madison believed that slavery was a horror that helped usher in slavery. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 38% 62% Democrat/Liberal 78% 22% Figure 13 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% TRUE 38% 78% FALSE 62% 22% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 13
Appendix A:(Continued) Statement regarding the nations's early history True or False? The U.S. consumption of hard alcohol is 3 times what is was under President George Washington. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 28% 72% Democrat/Liberal 59% 41% Figure 14 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% TRUE 28% 59% FALSE 72% 41% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 14
Appendix A:(Continued) Statement regarding the nation's early history True or False? The number of people per capita that are members of a Christian church today is only a fraction of what it was when George Washington was President. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 60% 40% Democrat/Liberal 28% 72% Figure 15 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% TRUE 60% 28% FALSE 40% 72% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 15
Appendix A:(Continued) Statement regarding the nation today True or False? The U.S. today is by all standards the most religious country in the world. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 0% 100% Democrat/Liberal 53% 47% Figure 16 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% TRUE 0% 53% FALSE 100% 47% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 16
Appendix A: (Continued) Statement regarding George Washington's faith. True or False? George Washington never once publicly stated a belief in God. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 35% 65% Democrat/Liberal 79% 21% Figure 17 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% TRUE 35% 79% FALSE 65% 21% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 17
Appendix A:(Continued) True of False? The U.S. has never declared a national day of prayer. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 4% 96% Democrat/Liberal 20% 80% Figure 18 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% TRUE 4% 20% FALSE 96% 80% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 18
A ppendix A: ( Continued ) Statement regarding our first 3 presidents and the trinity. True or False? Only 1 of our first three presidents believed in the Christian doctrine of the trinity that Jesus was the son of God. TRUE FALSE Republican/Conservative 28% 72% Democrat/Liberal 42% 58% Figure 19 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% TRUE 28% 42% FALSE 72% 58% Republican/ConservativeDemocrat/Liberal Page 19